Recently I had the best massage ever.
Like, honestly ever.
I’m biggggggg on massage & was really blown away by this one…
Come to find out: it was a medical massage. Not just a regular massage.
The therapist, Lisa, addressed my neck, foot, & lower back pain. And here’s the rad/insane thing: I’m still ( after a month ) pain free.
So. Naturally I booked my grandma AKA ‘The Nanz’ a little massagey-poo with Lisa.
Because The Nanz deserves a medical massage, right?!
So The Nanz had her massage & was OMFG-ing with me.
Anyway— point: instead of a resort-like, plain, old rub down that takes away the pain for five seconds, try a medical massage next time. Address/fix the actual issues!
Ok!!! Now meet Lisa Hassler:
+ Introduce yourself.
Lisa Hassler: Hi Lauryn, my name is Lisa Hassler. I’m a certified medical/sports massage therapist in San Diego, California with over twelve years experience. I have a business called San Diego Medi Massage in the Bankers Hill area.
+ Ok, so what the heck is the difference between a massage & a medical massage?
LH: If you get a massage at a day spa or while staying at a hotel, you will get a massage by someone who is usually unwilling to address injuries or any health issues you may have. They are instructed to stay away from injured areas. It’s likely they won’t know the difference between a healthy muscular structure & an injured or compromised area. Although we’re not allowed to diagnose an injury, a medical massage therapist will have the experience to feel the difference & suggest you talk with your trainer or doctor.
A medical massage is done by a certified therapist who has a background working with physicians, chiropractors, physical therapists, &/or anyone in the medical field who has a greater knowledge of injuries and after surgery care like me. They’re striving for lasting effects, corrections, pain management, etc.
+ Who needs a medical massage?
LH: Everyone can benefit from medical massage. While massaging, I go over your body, finding any possible unknown injuries, tears in the muscles, problem areas or anything that makes you susceptible to injury!
If you’re pregnant or unable to move regularly, medical massage is great for circulation which helps keep water weight and edema ( swollen tissue- usually in ankles ) at bay.
If you’re an athlete, it helps keep you at your peak performance and if injured, it gets you back on the field faster by flushing out the tissues from swelling, etc.
Younger, “wiser” ( older ), active, inactive, pregnant, stressed out office people- everyone needs a massage to be at their peak health.
+ Benefits of massage?
LH: Medical massage is useful in addressing conditions such as:
Carpal tunnel syndrom, rotator cuff injuries, pain associated with bulged or injured spinal disks ( medical massage cannot ‘fix’ the disk, but can help alleviate much of the pain associated with the injury ), migraines/headaches, constipation, range of motion issues, Plantar fasciitis ( foot pain ), repetitive use injuries such as tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow, TMJ, pain associated with restricted fascia, sports/exercise injuries, auto/work injuries, edema (swelling), PTSD ( Post Traumatic Stress Disorder )
Massage also promotes circulation & hydration by releasing your stuck fascia. It lengthens and stretches muscles. It flushes out left over ‘gunk’ & residue from inflammation, allowing proper blood flow for faster healing time, leaving your body feeling free & more fluid.
+ How do massages effect hormones?
LH: According to Researchers at the Group Health Center for Health Studies in Seattle, Washington, “massage works better than common treatments including chiropractic therapy and acupuncture. It’s not clear why, but several studies show massage reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol while boosting the feel-good hormones serotonin and dopamine.”
This helps slow your heart rate, reduce blood pressure, & block the nervous system’s pain receptors. It’s amazing how many ways massage therapy can replace the prescribed pills we take on a regular basis!
+ What does massage do for the lymph system ( I’m so curious about this— see why here )?
LH: Tiffany Field, Ph.D., director of the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine reported in Health Magazine says: “massage helps ward off bugs by boosting your natural killer cells, the immune system’s first line of defense against invading illness. We know that cortisol destroys natural killer cells. Therefore, since massage decreases cortisol, your immune cells get a boost. Massage even seems to boost immunity in those people with severely compromised immune systems, such as breast-cancer patients.”
+ Best at home product to give your man a massage:
LH: Okay- I really like Sensual Black Currant Vanilla Massage Oil from Bath and Bodyworks. It lasts a long time and doesn’t absorb into the skin too quickly and the scent is lovely.
+ Ok, let’s get real: can massages really help with cellulite?
LH: Cellulite is pockets of fat cells lying underneath the skin. They press against the underlying connective tissue called fascia. When the fat cells fill up, it limits the space under the skin, which pushes the connective tissue out causing that ripply appearance we all despise. Medical Massage improves the circulation which carries out the excess fluid and fat from the cells that cause the ripple affect. I do this by using a myofascial release and vigorous friction massage and a few other techniques I have learned. It will reduce the skin dimpling appearance…which is why many clients come see me before their wedding, pool party, summer beach days, etc!
How often do you recommend a massage?
LH: Dr. Oz C. Mehmet, M.D. ( CNN ) says it best: “all of our surgery patients are offered the treatment [massage] — I call it ‘service with a smile’ — and it’s a mandatory weekly prescription I give myself.”
I agree with Dr. Oz, but not everyone can get a weekly massage. If you have an area that needs attention ( shoulder or neck pain, etc. ), I would suggest weekly but every other week is still effective in treating the area. It’s likely it took a long time to get huge knots or whatever the problem is in your back or neck.
Chronic pain sufferers know it doesn’t usually happen overnight- so it will take a few corrective massage sessions to correct an issue to provide lasting relief. If you don’t have injuries, then I suggest every three weeks or once a month for stress relief, proper circulation, & injury watch care.
It’s much easier to maintain a healthy body while getting regular massages verses wait until you get an injury to get medical corrective massage.
+ To book an app with Lisa, e-mail her at: SanDiegoMediMassage@yahoo.com.
++ Use the code ‘SkinnyMassage’ for 10% off the first treatment ( redeemable for new clients only ).